Some Thoughts About Illegal Immigration
All my conservative friends are up in arms about the President's immigration proposal. I admit that illegal immigration is not a very important topic to me. I live in Sacramento, not San Diego, and most of my interaction with illegals is positive. My gardeners, the janitors at work, the workers at the fabulous mexican restaurant in the neighborhood, the father and son who installed my totally fabulous 600 sq foot brick patio. I bet everyone in our state has some kind of contact with illegals, and some of it is positive. But I can understand how those who live in Southern Cal, Arizona, etc. might feel differently.
I'd like to have a discussion - want to join me? I think most of the ideas I hear from the anti-illegals are impractical and here's why.
1. Deportation - There are 8 to 12 million illegals and each and every one of them has friends/clients/contacts who are citizens. My gardeners, for example, work on approximately 100 homes per week. If they were under threat of deportation, they certainly could get some citizens to speak on their behalf. If each illegal had 5 people who would speak for them, that would be 50 million Americans protesting the government's action. No sensible politician would risk fighting with 50 million people. Congressman Tancredo can gain positive attention from his base while it's all theoretical, but if his solutions were implemented, he'd be in a world of hurt.
2. Military Guarding the Border - Don't we ask enough of our military already? Are there thousands of soldiers and guardsman who are twiddling their thumbs waiting for the government to think of something for them to do? If part of their assignment was to guard the border, and shoot someone trying to illegally cross, would we have more people enlisting? Or would some, who currently serve with honor, decide not to enlist because that type of assignment is unappealing to them?
3. Americans Are Lazy - When the middle and upper middle class complain that welfare recipients should do this work instead, they demean the hard work that some illegals do. Every American grew up in a prosperous society, even those of us who are poor. It's unreasonable for me to say that it's OK for me to be lazy, but not for you. If my Dad had wanted a brick patio, he would have put it in himself. If my Mom wanted her house to be clean, she'd clean it herself. They would have been appalled at how willing I am to pay someone to do work that I could do myself. People who grew up working hard are willing to work hard when they get to America and I'm glad, 'cuz I still don't want to mow my own lawn. How much money would you have if you lived a frugal life? I say, don't judge me and I'll try not to judge you. (unless you do something truly heinous, of course.)
4. If we give them a permit, they'll never go home - A guest worker visa might solve some of the overburdening on schools and hospitals. When it's cold and yicky here, I would be happy to go to Mexico for a month or three, if I had somewhere to stay. If my sister lived in Oaxaca, I'd be there right now. Relieved of the worry about how they'd got back in to the USA, I think a good percentage of illegals would take extended vacations back home, and while they're gone, they won't be using American government services. Wouldn't that be good?
5. Increase Our Tax Base - A portion of the underground economy would evaporate. Why would any illegal work under the table, if that wouldn't qualify them for a guest worker visa? We'd add some revenue to our tax coffers, and there would be slightly less pressure to tax the rich.
What do you think? Please discuss, don't insult.
Posted by juliemarg at 9:42 AM